Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Wonderful Oaxaca Modern Mexican cuisine is diving into authentic cookery from different regions in Mexico - one of the regions being explored thoroughly is Oaxaca, thanks to its rich culinary heritage and its craveable cuisine

This Mole Amarillo Tostada boasts Oaxaca’s famous mole, along with pulled chicken, crema and pico de gallo, all on a corn tostada
PHOTO CREDIT: Mission Foodservice

Mexican food has always found a happy home on American menus—its geographic proximity and cultural reach has helped secure its position as one of this country’s favorite cuisines. Modern Mexican cuisine has seen a further dive into authentic cookery from different regions in Mexico, propelled by a fascination with culinary narrative.

One of the regions being explored thoroughly is Oaxaca, thanks to its rich culinary heritage and its craveable cuisine. Known as the “land of seven moles,” it boasts a tradition of seven complex, distinct sauces like mole colorado, mole rojo and mole amarillo, all sporting a different blend of chiles, nuts and spices.

Other Oaxacan favorites include mezcal, tequila’s smoky cousin, along with empanadas, chorizo and escabeche (vegetables marinated in vinegar).

Tapping into regional Mexican fare, then translating it onto American menus, offers your menu a great sense of place, of specificity—values that today’s diners hold close, always looking for craftsmanship, story and flavor.

Menu Sightings

  • Chilaquiles de mole: Black mole chilaquiles. served with eggs and Oaxacan string cheese, and corn tortillas
    Guelaguetza, Los Angeles
  • Tetela al Carbón: Grilled masa with black beans, hoja santa and queso fresco
    Suerte, Austin, Texas
  • Chorizo Tlayuda: 10-inch corn tortilla topped with chorizo, black beans, cheese, cabbage, tomato, red onion and avocado
    Kie Gol Lanee, Chicago

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About The Author

Jillian Werb

Digital Editor for Flavor & the Menu magazine. Based in Portland, Maine, and surrounded by good food.